One of the first matters that your Phoenix Social Security disability attorney will discuss with you is the five-step evaluation process that the Social Security Administration uses. This process has a claimant go through an additional step if he or she is not found to be disabled under the previous step. Once a claimant has been found to be disabled, he or she does not proceed to the next step.
Before you get to the sequential evaluation, you must meet a few requirements. For example, your impairment must be one that has lasted or is expected to last 12 continuous months. Additionally, for the SSDI program, you must have worked long enough and paid enough Social Security taxes to qualify for benefits. For SSI, income and asset requirements must be met.
Your Phoenix Social Security disability attorney can explain that the first step is that you are not receiving income through substantial gainful activity. If you are working at this activity level, you will be found to be not disabled.
The second step is that your medically determinable impairment is considered severe by a fact finder. If you suffer from no medically determinable impairment or your impairment doesn’t significantly limit your ability to perform the job, you will be found to be not disabled.
Your Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer can explain that many claimants stop at step 3. Qualifying under this step means that your impairment meets or equals an impairment included in the Listing of Impairments.
The fourth step is that you are not physically or mentally capable of performing past relevant work based on your residual functional capacity.
Your Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer can discuss that the final step is when a claimant is unable to perform other work that is available in significant numbers in the national economy, taking into consideration your residual functional capacity, age, level of education and work experience.
If you would like to learn more about the sequential evaluation, contact a Phoenix Social Security disability attorney from the Schiffman Law Office, P.C., call (602) 235-0539.